As the mother of a beloved boy who died as a result of his addiction, my personal vision is to convey a message of HOPE to those affected by Substance Use Disorder, and to shine a LIGHT on addiction, bringing the sufferers out of the darkness of societal shame and stigma.
My hope is that, if all of us speak openly and honestly about this disease, society will realize that positive life outcomes can be achieved. Those of us with SUD who are in long-term recovery are able to live highly successful lives. We heal our broken family relationships. We restore our productivity and lost finances. We fulfill our life dreams.
I am proud to be a person in long-term recovery; I will no longer be silent. I wish that by speaking publicly regarding my own disease, a disease which also stole my son from me, I will help empower others to regard their own disease as a chronic medical condition that can be overcome through medical treatment, commitment, and spirituality. Those of us whose lives have been affected by addiction must work together to educate the public, to advocate for those suffering, and to create awareness of this epidemic of drug use; only then will the chains of stigma and shame be broken.
Linda Mautner, RN, President, Ian Mautner Foundation